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Why Isn't Anyone Taking Vacation Days?

Posted by Shift Admin on November 20, 2018 at 7:01 AM

With physician burnout on the rise, the number of American workers taking vacation days is relatively low. A recent Medscape article indicates American workers get an average of 13 paid vacation days per year, far less than other developed countries. Imagine having 42 paid days off like they do in Italy!

More than half of Americans don’t take all their vacation days, according to a study released by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off. So, despite having vacation days, why aren’t we taking time off? Let’s explore the importance of taking time off when you work in a high-stress environment.

To Avoid Burnout

Bureaucratic tasks, spending too much time at work, and feeling like “just another cog in the wheel” were the top causes of physicians feeling burnt out. Add those to the need to balance additional administrative tasks (like scheduling), making time for EHRs, and the general stress of working in healthcare, and physicians can feel wiped out quickly.

One in three physicians report feeling burnt out, and the dangers that come with overworking and overstressing for long periods of time are dangerous, leading to:

  • Lower patient satisfaction and care quality

  • Higher medical error rates and malpractice risk

  • Higher physician and staff turnover

  • Alcohol and drug abuse and addiction

  • Suicide

Read More: Here’s how to get back in the groove after vacation.

You Deserve It

You’re constantly putting yourself on the back burner and sacrificing sleep and your health to ensure your patients are taken care of first. Your family also makes sacrifices. Getting called into work in the middle of the night and working 12 (or more) hour shifts takes a toll on everyone.

Taking time to reconnect with yourself and your family will actually help your patients in the long-run.

Shift Admin Makes It Easy

Having a web-based scheduling software like Shift Admin gives you the ability to schedule time-off, to swap shifts if you need to take a mental health day for yourself, and to internally communicate with co-workers looking to pick up shifts.

As the scheduler, you may be wary to leave because you’re afraid the sky may fall if you aren’t there to keep the place running. But Shift Admin is so easy to use, training a colleague to pick up the slack while you’re gone is a breeze. And our customer service team is quick to respond and resolve issues while you’re away. So rest easy, and plan that trip!

Use the guide below to incorporate standard time-off policies in your hospital or department.

Topics: Physician Scheduling

sample time-off protocol